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Gartner Calls For CIOs To Take Action To Prepare For COVID-19 Disruptions To Businesses

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The next phases of the outbreak are uncertain as various quarantine measures and travel restrictions are being implemented by organisations around the world.

Research and advisory firm Gartner has urged that with the spread of the COVID-19, CIOs should focus on three short-term actions to increase their organisations’ resilience against disruptions and prepare for rebound and growth.

Gartner recommends that CIOs focus on three short-term actions to provide support to customers and employees and ensure continuity of operations:

  • Source digital collaboration tools with security controls and network support

  • Engage customers and partners through digital channels, and maintain sales activities

  • Establish a single source of truth for employees

With such a dynamic situation like COVID-19, it has the potential to be as disruptive, or more, to an organisation’s continuity of operations as a cyber-intrusion or natural disaster,” said Sandy Shen, senior research director at Gartner.

“When traditional channels and operations are impacted by the outbreak, the value of digital channels, products and operations becomes immediately obvious.

“This is a wake-up call to organisations that focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience.”

The company added that in organisations where remote working capabilities have not yet been established, CIOs should work out interim solutions in the short term, including identifying use case requirements such as instant messaging for general communication, file sharing/meeting solutions, and access to enterprise applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM), while reviewing all security arrangements to ensure secure access to applications and data.

“The value of digital channels becomes obvious as market demand shrinks and as people rely more on online platforms for daily supplies. Organizations can leverage digital channels, such as online marketplaces and social platforms, to compensate for some of the demand loss,” added Shen.

“They can set up official pages/accounts and integrate commerce capabilities to enable online selling. They should also quickly adapt products to make them suited for selling through digital channels.”

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